Sheriff: Arrest made in Bradenton sexual battery

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BRADENTON, Fla. - The Manatee County Sheriff's Office has announced that an arrest has been made for Monday's kidnapping and sexual battery on a five year old girl in Bradenton.

Detectives have charged Dominick J. Hawkins with Kidnapping and Capital Sexual Battery after they say he took a 5-year-old girl to buy candy and then an empty mobile home in Bradenton, where he performed sexual battery on her.

He has admitted that it was him in the surveillance videos sent out by the Manatee County Sheriff's Office on Tuesday.

Earlier Wednesday, Hawkins was taken into custody by Sarasota Police at the Resurrection House homeless resource center near downtown Sarasota after some help from an area homeless man.

"When I seen the photos and they told me what he did, I was like, are you kidding me?" Kyle Kendrick knew at once that the suspect seen on wanted posters was Dominick Hawkins, the man he knows as “Dante”. "My immediate thing was about the girl, so I'm like if he did this to this little girl, I need to speak up and say something."

But in a community where ratting on your friends can do more harm than good, Kendrick admits he feared what could happen. “Normally wouldn’t ever snitch on a friend of mine, but I had to think of the little girl."

Kendrick and his friend Richard Bull spotted the suspect in downtown Sarasota, then followed him to the Resurrection House homeless shelter. Within earshot of the suspect, they flagged down police. "I came up to a police officer and told him that someone stole my bike, to make it look like he didn't recognize what I was doing, but then I told him he was behind this."

Within minutes the suspect was taken in for questioning, and later placed under arrest, ending 48 hours of fear and bringing some comfort to that five year old victim. "I just want her to have justice, because she has to live with this for the rest of her life, not me."

Hendrick was transported to Sarasota Police headquarters to be interviewed by Manatee County Sheriff's detectives.

According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, at around 1pm Monday afternoon the victim was playing with another child in the Wayside Glen Mobile Home Park when they were approached by an unknown black male. The man lured the victim to the nearby India Bazaar store, then to a vacant mobile home in the Aloha Estates Mobile Home Park.

The victim was held against will, choked and sexually battered at that location. The victim managed to escape, ran home and told a family member about the attack.